Mystic Pizza (1988)

Mystic Pizza (1988)
Mystic Pizza (1988) DVD / Blu-ray

By: Jenna Zine & Larry Crane (Four Beers) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Welcome to a He Said/She Said review of films! We’re just a newly married couple trying to navigate sharing the Netflix queue while balancing our diverging tastes in movie genres. Sometimes we agree – and sometimes one of us loses our place in line!

Mystic Pizza focuses on the  “coming of age” story between two sisters, Daisy (a pre-Pretty Woman Julia Roberts) and Kat (Annabeth Gish), and their shared best friend, JoJo (standout Lili Taylor). The quips fly fast and furious over shifts at, you guessed it, Mystic Pizza, where the girls serve pies (go ahead and go there, you dirty bird) and share tips – both in money and love.

A Toast

The film opens with JoJo’s wedding, in progress, to long-time fiancé Bill (Vincent D’Onofrio). The priest makes the commitment of marriage sound quite dire (take it from us: it is) and JoJo faints from the stress. The wedding is temporarily called off and guests reconvene at the town’s living room – aka the Mystic Pizza restaurant.

He Said: Wow – the Eighties! What awful Photoshop in the credits. Someone should get fired for that.

She Said: Don’t be too hard on them, honey. They didn’t have the technology…

He Said: If it starts with a wedding, does it end with a funeral?

Lighten up, kittens!

Mystic Pizza, post ceremony:

She Said: So, Daisy/Julia is taking out a pitcher of beer, half full?

He Said: I guess she gives good head. Wah, wah.

She Said: Julia Roberts plays the saucy slut. Typecasting!

He Said: Her hair is crazy. I like her VPL (visible panty line) though!

She Said: Man, back when she had a ba-donka-donk. Our, as the kids like to say, an “ass.” I do love revisiting that big hair. It looks so crunchy.

He Said: Just like pizza crust! I’m beginning to see the connection.

Beer Two

This portion of the flick shows hard-working good girl Kat taking on a babysitting job with Tim Travers (William R. Moses) for extra money in order to attend Yale in the fall. Summer inhabitants of Mystic, Connecticut must pay handsomely for childcare! Meanwhile Daisy meets a visiting rich kid, Charles Gordon Windsor Jr. (Adam Storke), at the hilariously named Peg Leg Pub. She schools him in a game of pool and he’s immediately smitten…

Pool Game with Hot Shot Daisy/Julia:

He Said: And… cue the bad soundtrack.

She Said: And cue the cheesy male lead. I call it the James Spader hangover. He hasn’t aged well (see the current season of The Office), but back in the day he was dirty, hot stuff. He was the ultimate Eighties archetype for sleaze.

He Said: Hey, pizza girl – give me a slice! This is a good movie to watch for fashion don’ts. Bad music, bad hair, bad movie. Excuse me, do you like Kenny G? Cuz you look like him! However, I wouldn’t mind seeing more shots of Julia Roberts’ rear. She had more going on then.

She Said: Yeah, she’s gonna play with the balls in your pocket later, pal. She’s so intense and meaningful.

He Said: Fuck, this is just tedious. Nothing’s happened yet.

She Said Nothing and everything. Just wait until Charles Gordon Windsor Jr. shows up. You know she’s gonna go Pretty Woman on his ass.

You can laugh at her big hair and giant cable knit sweater – but she’s still worth more than we’ll make in a lifetime, combined.

Adventures in awkward babysitting encounters:

He Said: Why is Kat acting so weird? Does she have a crush on the dad?

She Said: She’s acting weird because she needs her hair straight-ironed and her eyebrows waxed. That’s enough to make any woman feel awkward.

He Said: It’s time for a motherfuckin’ montage. This movie seriously has the worst soundtrack I’ve heard in years.

She Said: Umm, don’t you mean decades?

Beer Three

JoJo continues to vacillate about her decision to marry Bill. One thing she’s not on the fence about? Pre-marital sex! These two go at it every chance they get – including the bathroom at Mystic Pizza. Needless to say, JoJo is our favorite character. Kat continues her ill advised plan to seduce the father of her babysitting charge and Daisy continues her wild-child romp with the rich dude.

Daisy has a big date night with “Junior”:

She Said: That hair is killing me. It’s forcing me to relive my high school perm. And my penchant for purple eye shadow…

He Said: I love Julia’s banana clip Mohawk. What a sexy beast.

I sure to miss the days of bright prints, pink throw pillows and men in turtlenecks.

We pause to grab supplies:

She Said: Oh, god – there’s still an hour left!

He Said: What’s going to happen? More nothing? It’s not very funny and it’s not very romantic. This is some painful shit. This movie should be called Just A Bunch of Giggly Girls.

She Said: It should be called Julia Roberts Is Going To Be Richer Than All You Bitches!

He Said: And… here come more saxophones.

She Said Of course there’s more saxophone. How else would we know how to feel if there wasn’t bad music to cue us? JoJo and Bill are the most compelling couple in the film. I care more about them than anyone. I could watch a whole movie about them.

He Said: Yeah, Lili Taylor is a league better than Julia.

The Babysitter Boff… err, Bop. (I.e. Kat decides to lose her virginity to Tim):

She Said: The oldest story in the book…

He Said: Bonking the babysitter. This is more of a drama than a romantic comedy. (Bonking and boffing are how Daisy refers to sex. Those phrases are not coming from us. Just FYI.)

She Said: If you can call it either…

He Said: They should call it Mistake Pizza. I’m about ready to put this movie in a box and shove the leftovers in the fridge.

She Said: Nice one, honey. We clearly have not had enough beer.

Something tells me Kat’s affair does not end well.

Beer Four

JoJo resolves her emotional conflict and marries Bill. Kat’s affair is discovered. She’s brokenhearted, but more determined than ever to leave for Yale. After a brief breakup, Daisy and Junior reunite. The movie concludes with the wedding reception, part two, at Mystic Pizza. For dessert? Happy endings for everyone!

She Said: Holy shit! Is that…?

He Said: Matt Damon (said in the Team America voice)!

She Said: Oh, my god! Best cameo, ever. Wait, how old is he there? And how old is Julia? They’ve starred in movies together.

He Said: I think the other starring role went to Miller High Life. There’s a bottle in every scene.

She Said: Early signs of movie marketing. Trendsetters.

JoJo and Bill finally tie the knot:

He Said: Did they get married at the Peg Leg?

She Said: I hope so! Why didn’t we think of that? Redo!

He Said: Okay, it’s not the Peg Leg. Of course it’s the restaurant. We can still have that redo though.

She Said: Yes, I’ve always felt our wedding was missing that crucial dive bar element.

He Said: God, I’m just waiting for this movie to end. I really did not need to see this. What is up with the random Netflix summary, “Reality intrudes.” What reality? What plans?

She Said: Apparently to wander aimlessly. It starts with girls giggling; it ends with girls giggling. At least it’s consistent!

It’s my wedding, bitches – I get the bottle.

Verdict

A slow-moving rom-com wrapped with a “life lessons” bow. Still a “must” for fans of the genre, due to the “before they were stars” fun.

 

Bonus Drinking Game

Take a Drink: every time you think, “What in the hell is Julia doing with her hair?”

Take a Drink: every time you think that Kat needs to get a spine, but JoJo totally rocks.

Take a Shot: every time you hear a saxophone.

Take a Drink: whenever it crosses your mind that not all Eighties fashion is good fashion.

About Jenna Zine

Jenna Zine is a writer, unashamed Bachelor franchise live-tweeter (with Felix Felicis at @2Girls1Recap), lapsed drummer, and occasional standup comic. She’s probably somewhere right now complaining about her bangs. Find more at www.jennazine.com

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